Christmas Carol Society is Live!

Did you see what went live this weekend? Christmas Carol Society is available in both Kindle and Paperback!

How did this book come about? Let’s travel back in time a bit to commence…

December 2013

That year, I spent most of December living with friends. One night, I sat on my bed in my little room, my laptop in front of me as I worked on the final rewrite of Journeys of Four. I hadn’t ever been away from home during Christmastime and while I worked, I analyzed what I missed about the traditions I had grown up with.

Toward the top of my list, I missed A Christmas Carol. I had neither book nor film with me. Mixing my thoughts with my work, I grew distracted, saw a white bunny and jumped down a rabbit hole. Which is to say, I stopped working and wrote down a new book idea that I titled Homeschooler’s Christmas Carol. Then, because I had a lot of work to do, I went back to work on Journeys of Four.

December 2018

Five years passed. Then, Sarah Holman asked if I wanted to write a novella for A Very Bookish Christmas. The idea sounded fun! I asked for A Christmas Carol and I got it.

It had been years since I even looked at my file, but the idea of spinning A Christmas Carol into a contemporary fiction story with no fantasy and a greater emphasis on the gospel had continued to intrigue me. How should it be done, however?

While December slipped by, January crept in. One afternoon, I made a hungry little person a grilled cheese and the character of Charlie Baker occurred to me. He wasn’t quite right – really, I pictured him about fourteen years younger – but I knew I had my starting point. I rushed across the room to write it down.

Possibly ten minutes later, I rushed across the room again, when Charlie grew into a man in my head, followed by the birth of Miss Dartmoor and the Christmas Carol Society. I could see them all so clearly, that I nearly forgot what else I had been doing. Only nearly.

However, by early 2019, if not before, I had begun struggling with my writing. While I still had moments of excitement regarding my stories, I struggled when I actually tried to write them. That didn’t stop me from trying, however, and I pushed on with my book, trying to grasp an elusive thread for this story that I knew just dangled beyond my reach.

Then, I went to Oxford, where the LORD allowed me to learn more than I could have expected. On my return, armed with lots of prayer, critiques on my first chapter, and a renewed vision, I began my book again on page 1. The LORD allowed first draft completion of my manuscript in six weeks.

I learned so much with Charlie. I’m still trying to absorb the lessons myself, as I am not fictional, and clearly, not as receptive as he is. I love this book and the characters. I thank the LORD for letting me write it.

I did have a single problem, however. Christmas Carol Society is not a novella. It’s a novel. Too long for the collection. The LORD provided there as well by letting me come up with and somehow find the time to write Gingerbread Treasures in a very short time. (Which, LORD willing, will be released with the other stories in the collection later this month!)

The end result is, that after six months of drafting the manuscript, typing it into my computer, letting it rest while I did other things, waiting on edits and readers, and finally doing the final edits and formatting – I get to present you with the completed novel in time for the celebratory season! I never have got over the awe of seeing the LORD allow a story that I wrote, reach the stage of publication!

I hope that my readers will enjoy Christmas Carol Society, will be blessed by the story within, and, ultimately, will be pointed toward the LORD in the reading.

To the KING be all the glory!

A Promise to Break – A Review

A Promise to Break by Kathryn Spurgeon

Released: July 11th, 2016

SIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depression in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.

 FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.

 Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?

My Review

I actually decided to read this book based on the cover. That’s not something I usually do, but the cover for A Promise to Break really is beautiful.

Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for the story. I found the main character to be very self-centered, despite her repeated claims to live for pleasing her father. Her constant internal complaints about life, her husband, her dreams became wearying.

Throughout the first half of the book or so, the few Christians in the story were among the most easily offended or most ill behaved.

In the latter half of the book, the Popes showed a good example of Christ’s love in care, both by word and example. Fremont, their son and Sibyl’s husband, improved after marriage. I didn’t like him in the beginning, as he was forward and didn’t seem to stand up to most of his beliefs, but later he became a good example of a decent, godly, and hardworking man.

The story wove the various members of the Trimble family lives around Sybil, but most of the book read as a sordid tale of their sins, including Sybil’s, with a smattering of Christianity.

I wanted to like this book, but I really couldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Blog Tour

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 1

To Everything There Is A Season, October 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 2

Through the Fire Blogs, October 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 3

Connie’s History Classroom , October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 4

Betti Mace, October 4

Older & Smarter?, October 5

Blogging With Carol , October 5

Hallie Reads, October 6

Life of Literature, October 6

Genesis 5020, October 7

A Baker’s Perspective, October 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 7

Moments, October 8

Emily Yager, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 9

Maureen’s Musings, October 9

She Lives to Read, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 10

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, October 10

Pause for Tales , October 11

Connect in Fiction, October 11

Reader’s Cozy Corner,October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Bigreadersite, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

janicesbookreviews, October 13

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 13

A Reader’s Brain, October 14

Batya’s Bits, October 14

About the Author

A Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author loves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences.

Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message.

She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women.

Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives.

Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach.

Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.

Haven’s Fire – A Review

Haven’s Fire by Dena Netherton
Released April 2019

When Dade re-emerges from the wilderness and settles in Seattle, intent on establishing a powerful cult following, Haven, Petter, and Jesse must protect their new friend, Thea, from his evil plans.

Haven Ellingson has been stalked, kidnapped, and beaten by Dade. After her escape, he continued to torment her through threats and constant pursuit. Again she was able to break free, thinking the man had finally perished.

But he’s back, now intent on destroying the life of another young woman and countless, misguided followers.

And Haven is having none of it.

Sometimes you hide from your attacker; sometimes you stand and fight.


My Review
I should begin this review by saying that, until I got 9/10of the way through reading Haven’s Fire I didn’t realize that I was reading a book in a series, and until I sat down to write my review, I had no idea that this is actually Book Three in The Hunted Series. (No, I didn’t look very closely at the cover, as I read it on an electronic device.)

That said, the book held together as a stand-a-lone surprisingly well. At a few points, I found myself thoroughly confused, but they were relatively small and, I imagine, would have been nonexistent had I read the first two books. The author did jump into most of the characters without much preamble or introduction, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy the story or the people.

I must say, this is a rare instance where the title and the description of the book do not seem to match the story. I have no idea what Haven’s Fire has to actually do with the book, besides that there is a character, mostly in a supporting role, named Haven. Further, the description of the book seems to put Haven in a much larger role, doing far more then in the story. The story focused on Jesse and Thea, whose story I liked, but I never would have got that from the description.

The characters I found to be quite well done, the story captivating, and the writing style enjoyable. The visual illustration of the power of a cult, led by a seductive and enigmatic leader and the influence it can achieve, is a good message. Watching Thea get buried deeper and deeper into the net of rules and entrapment, the reader wants to pull her to safety, but almost justifies all the horrors along with her, as you see her mind twisted and led along.

Which brings me to my biggest complaint about the book, despite my enjoyment of it. While the author showed the cult very clearly, I wish that she had been more Biblically clear in her rebuttals. The leader of the cult used portions of Scripture or ideas from Scripture, twisting them in an expert and dangerous manner to mislead his followers. When, however, the Christians tried to reach the followers of the cult, they, in turn, rarely quoted Scripture themselves, which left an unbalanced argument, especially as the cult leader frequently went on for a few pages. The author frequently quoted a Scripture verse with the chapter header, but the people themselves rarely quoted any. As followers of Christ, Scripture is our authority and I left wishing that the Christian characters had quoted their Master more often, and saddened that they had not.

In conclusion, I enjoyed Haven’s Fire. I wish they had quoted more from the Bible, but I liked the characters and am glad to add them to my list of fictional friends. The story will certainly be one that stays with me.


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dena is giving away a grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de85/haven-s-fire-celebration-tour-giveaway



Blog Stop

A Reader’s Brain, April 20

Carpe Diem, April 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 22

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 24

Blogging With Carol, April 24

Godly Book Reviews, April 25

Multifarious, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 27

Texas Book-aholic, April 28

Rebekah’s Quill, April 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 29

Through the Fire Blogs, April 30

janicesbookreviews, May 1

Inklings and notions, May 2

The Becca Files, May 3

About the Author
Dena Netherton has always loved the thrill of suspense-filled fiction. One day it dawned on her she could actually put down on paper her own action-packed stories and life-threatened characters that had been knocking around inside her head for decades.

When she’s not writing, Dena loves to play piano and guitar, read good books, spend time with people, and hike the Cascade Mountains.

Dena is active in her church as a musician, leader in Women’s Ministry, and director of a women’s prayer ministry. She also volunteers at a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

She and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Find out more about Dena’s books through her website and newsletter: denanetherton.me

To the KING be all glory!

Thirty Days Hath – A Review

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Thirty Days Hath by Chautona Havig
Revised Edition Released February 26th, 2019

Blind Dates Are for Wimps!
At least, that’s what Adric Garrison thinks.
Can you blame him? Thanks to his sister and brother-in-law, Adric is about to embark on a year of month-long, chaperoned, blind dates. Awkward.
He didn’t ask for it. But Adric still finds himself living what seems more like a bad TV reality show than a new life in Fairbury.
Once an ordinary (if prematurely gray and vertically challenged) guy, Adric is now Fairbury’s newest “most eligible bachelor,” and dreams of permanent bachelorhood loom on the horizon. Will he call it quits before the year is out, or will one of his “girls of the month” change his mind?
One man, twelve women, one happily ever after.

My Review
I’ll be honest; this is not my first time opening up this book. I have readThirty Days Hath probably 3-4 times in the last seven years or so. For some reason, the more I read a book, the more difficult it is for me to write up a review. Maybe because I’m too familiar with it?

The evidence that I do enjoy the book, is shown by the fact that I do reread the book every while.

I enjoy reading about Adric and following his adventures, so to speak, with all the women who come stay in his house. I find his character, specifically with watching his temper, fascinating.

Further, watching all of the different types of women who Adric gets to know in a year, is actually an intriguing study, both in the differences between people, and in the abilities of the author. It’s easy to fall into making your characters very much alike – Chautona Havig had to write up twelve women and make us believe that they were all – different. She accomplishes that well, and it makes for a fascinating personality study as a bonus.

Fairbury is possibly my favorite of Mrs. Havig’s towns, as well, so the fact that Adric lives there is a bonus.

The story is fun, intriguing, and has just a touch of mystery to it. It also rarely makes me squirm, despite being a romance, which is always a lovely thing. There’s a reason why Chautona Havig is one of my favorite modern authors and this book is one of those reasons.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Thirty Days Hath, book cozy, and a $25 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into to the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/dee7/thirty-days-hath-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops
Quiet Quilter, April 15
Through the Fire Blogs, April 15
For Him and My Family, April 16
cultivating us, April 16
Godly Book Reviews, April 17
mpbooks, April 17
Among the Reads, April 18
Multifarious, April 19
Inspired by Fiction, April 19
EmpowerMoms, April 20
SusanLovesBooks, April 20
Remembrancy, April 21
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21
Rebekah’s Quill, April 22
Texas Book-aholic, April 22
Aryn The Libraryan, April 23
janicesbookreviews, April 23
Lots of Helpers, April 24
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 24
A Reader’s Brain, April 25
Bigreadersite, April 26
Inklings and notions, April 26
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 27
The Becca Files, April 27
Real World Bible Study, April 28
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 28

About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

To the KING be all glory!

Flight of Fancy – A Review

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Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano
Released January 1, 2019

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

My Review

Flights of Fancy felt somewhat like a Hallmark movie in novel form. The rich heiress thrown into farm life with absolutely no idea what she’s doing, while attracted to the wealthy attorney and learning to look after a handful of children. I liked Ian, the attorney and I enjoyed the children. Isadora I found to be rather annoying more than once, but I do think I’m likely the minority there. The did find the story interesting; I’m fond of mysteries and I found this one enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I found the number of trailing sentences and ellipses throughout the novel to be quite distracting, as well as the author’s tendency to repeat the same information two to three times. I also found one of the main supporting characters, who was meant to be a voice of wisdom, come off as rather arrogant and obnoxious.

As a warning to those among my readers who are younger or prefer to avoid such, there are rather too many references and descriptions to Ian’s muscles and chest, as well.

Still, if you’re fond of society lady turned farm girl stories with a touch of the ridiculous, peppered with some truly cute children throughout, I would recommend you read this book.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10

Among the Reads, January 10

Through the Fire, January 10

To Everything A Season, January 10

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 11

Southern Gal loves to Read, January 11

Back Porch Reads, January 12

KarenSueHadley, January 12

Godly Book Reviews, January 12

Daysong Refections, January 12

Livin Lit, January 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 13

The Becca Files, January 13

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Rebekah’s Quill, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15

Just the Write Escape, January 15

Stories By Gina, January 15

God’s Little Bookworm, January 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16

Splashes of Joy, January 16

Janices book reviews, January 16

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Maureen’s Musings, January 17

Bibliophile Reviews, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Baker Kella, January 18

Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Captive Dreams Window, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Have A Wonderful Day, January 20

Life with the Tribe, January 20

Inklings and Notions, January 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21

Inspiration Clothesline, January 21

amandainpa, January 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Pause for Tales, January 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23

Live Love Read, January 23

A Rup Life, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 23

About the Author

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

To the KING be all glory!